The shaping of citizenship education in a Chinese context

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The global flow of citizenship education in China has spurred much discussion in Chinese academic circles. This study explores the interaction between citizenship education and China’s the existing political-ideological education and moral education as a space is negotiated a space in the current “ideoscape.” A qualitative approach is adopted to synthesize the literature coming from China on citizenship education from an interpretive and critical perspective. The research findings suggest: (a) The territory of orthodox political-ideological education is being narrowed down as its relationship with citizenship education is configured; (b) citizenship education and moral education are represented using different images to delineate their distinctions; and (c) the introduction of “global citizenship education” includes many new topics and competencies that expands the current ideoscape. This study argues that the ongoing debates on citizenship education are deeply rooted in China’s structural transformation, in which society tends to be separated from state. In negotiating its own territory, citizenship education reshapes China’s ideoscape in the education field. The paper concludes by suggesting that citizenship education should make a unique contribution to facilitating young citizens in a reexamination of the values imbedded in political-ideological education and moral education with a new social consensus being reached through the communication of ideas. Copyright © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-122
JournalFrontiers of Education in China
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


Zhao, Z. (2013). The shaping of citizenship education in a Chinese context. Frontiers of Education in China, 8(1), 105-122.


  • Ideology
  • Citizenship
  • Global citizens
  • Ideoscape
  • Moral education,
  • Political education


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